Two songs in and I was planning to make a few Gin Blossoms jokes, then focus on the trend of emo bands sounding like mild-mannered alt rock from 1997. The thing is, by song three I was going, “Wait, this one is catchy as hell, too.” They play with a certain heartland yearning that Split Slip/Chamberlain had on Fate’s Got a Driver. And it turns out this is a concept record about the holocaust, with songs taking place in concentration camps, and later as survivors struggle with describing the holocaust to younger relatives. The more straightforward songs about affairs of the heart have timeless details like cigarettes and baseball uniforms that let them ride the fence between nostalgia and modern life. It takes balls of steel for an emo band to attempt to write an album about something as sensitive as genocide, but Wayfarer manages to focus on the humanity in a way that avoids myopia and makes their characters feel real and timeless. The fact that they know their way around a hook sure doesn’t hurt either.
–CT Terry (sorrowcarrier.bigcartel.com / Housebreaker)